Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/81

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58
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

mountains were, and how to get at them, and on them, so as to have some chance of escape from the threatened danger. Notwithstanding this forethought, they set to work to provide the needful, and succeeded in this way. Passing on the word to the tribes along the coast, some settlers at a very great distance were robbed of axes, and saws, and rope, and tiers of dray wheels; all of which were forwarded on from tribe to tribe, to the old gentleman on the other side; and, as was supposed, in time to prevent the capsize, for it never happened. A tribute of this description is paid whenever possible; but who the knowing old juggling receiving thief is, I could never make out. However, it is only one of the same sort of robberies which are practised in the other countries of what is called Christendom; and as I have no particular wish to dwell upon them in this narrative, let us pass on.

Their notion of the origin of fire is this, that as a native woman was digging at an ant hill one day, for the purpose of getting their eggs for eating, a crow flying over her dropped something like dry grass, which immediately blazed, and set a tree on fire. For this reason, they very much respect the Waakee, as they call the bird, and do not kill and eat him, unless pressed by necessity.

I will now describe their war and hunting implements, and then continue my every day narrative of events.

The spear which they use, is from ten to fifteen feet long, and is made of a solid piece of wood, very sharp